Sticks and Stones and Glass Houses

In the wake of five teenage boys who committed suicide (a Rutgers University student most recently) as a response to bullying, the famous and infamous are speaking out.

After Ellen Degeneres’s passionate pleas to stop the hate; other celebs followed suit including pseudo-celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. This is all well and good, except that Hilton (real name Mario Lavandeira Jr) has made his notoriety as a cyber bully (who favours Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Vanessa Hudgens and Kristen Stewart as his favourite victims).

I understand that Hilton is a homosexual man and this cause hits close to home for him, but you can’t pick and choose who deserves to be bullied.  This man often targets Miley Cyrus, a teenager 14 years his junior as a target and refers to her as “Slutty Cyrus”, a “skank” or “Mileybird the slut”. These childish taunts prompted 15 year old Phoebe Prince to take her life in January. Hilton offered nary a mention to teenage girls who may be living in a similar situation to Prince but continues to speak out to stop the bullying of  LGBT teenagers. The message Hilton is sending is that while it’s wrong to bully LGBT teens, it’s okay to torture the crap out of  straight teen girls.

It’s hard enough to be a teenager without the constant torment that comes from bullying. In this Facebook/blog/Twitter/text age, there is no escape. I was bullied in elementary school, but at least I could go home. Kids have no escape anymore. Social networking can be a deadly weapon in the hands of a bully, something Hilton knows very well.  Hilton used YouTube to launch a campaign against Miss USA finalist Carrie Prejean (who said she was against gay marriage), encouraging people to call her a “c**t”. He also used Twitter to launch a childish tirade against Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.Am, whom he claimed punched him after Hilton reduced fellow Peas member to tears at the Muchmusic Video Awards and later called Will.i.Am a “f****t”.  Hilton offered no apology to either Peas member for the slurs and continues to taunt them on his site.

While Hilton’s attempts to help LGBT teens is admirable, the fact is that he’s built his infamy on the tears of others. Unless he is willing to admit what he is and apologize to the men and women he’s hurt over the years and practice what he preaches, he’s no different then the kid in detention who writes an essay on being nice; everyone knows he doesn’t mean it and the kid who finally spoke out is getting a beatdown in the locker room. Hate is hate, regardless of who is on the receiving end and bullying needs to stop so that every single teenager can enjoy their high school years and look back on them fondly, instead of with the sadness that carries into adulthood.

***ASH Multimedia would like to remind everyone that bullying is WRONG and should never be tolerated. If you or someone you know at your school is being bullied, make sure you come forward. Tell a teacher, your principal or parents. If you don’t feel you can talk to them, remember the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). It’s not funny, or a game, or a joke. It’s CRUEL. Coming forward is not tattling or pussying out, it’s doing the right thing. Don’t let your friends or yourself be a victim.***